Conceived as both a challenge and a tribute to The Fires of London, Avis Maris Stella is a rare piece of modern chamber music: music for six people working together, unconducted, on a journey that is arduous but hugely gripping for performers and audience alike. Its symphonic impetus is maintained throughout the nine varied sections and the work is notable for the inclusion of marimba whose part is as important as the other instruments. The Fires of London (1965-1987) were a crack ensemble dedicated to performing contemporary music, directed by Peter Maxwell Davies and Harrison Birtwistle.
‘Avis Maris Stella……. Is one of his profoundest and luminous works………. Vintage Max indeed.’ Sunday Times